NORML Women's Alliance: Connecting Female Activists

Sister-To-Sister Interview:
Big Sister Kyndra Miller and Little Sister Melissa Sanchez discuss their reasons for becoming activists in the marijuana reform movement, as well as their participation in the NORML Women’s Alliance burgeoning mentorship program, Sister-to-Sister. Both women currently live in California working as attorneys within the Cannabis Industry.
By: Brooke Napier, intern with Students for a Sensible Drug Policy

Why did you get involved with the marijuana reform movement?
Melissa: As a Mexican-American, I was motivated to join the marijuana reform movement because marijuana prohibition in this country stemmed from racism, with enforcement policies disproportionately affecting minority communities. My family and friends in Mexico live with fear of violence because of our drug policies. I had to get involved!
What is your Little Sister like? What has she voiced as being important for her to get out of Sister-to-Sister?
Kyndra: Melissa is a very smart and beautiful human being.  When we first met, she was looking for someone in the movement to reach back and help her become a more informed activist.  She told me that prior to signing up for Sister-to-Sister she was having difficulty finding someone that would be willing to take the time to talk to her. Melissa never ceases to amaze me with her many professional skills and gifts. We seem to really balance each other out.  The experiences that I may not have – she has had – and vice versa.  I am a firm believer that the personal is political.  To that end, she has had a lifetime of experiences that led to her activism.
What kinds of activities are you planning on doing with your Sister?
Melissa: We have a tardeada, an afternoon party, planned for women in the movement in Fresno. At the High Times Cannabis Cup in June, we noticed that many women who were coming up to the NORML Women’s Alliance booth were from the Fresno area. Coincidentally, Fresno County passed a ridiculous anti-medical marijuana ordinance right before our event, so we expect a lot of people to come out and become activists.
Kyndra: During 2012 we will be expanding to other states within the western region.  Our goal is to educate as many people as possible about drug policy reform.

Why do you ladies think Sister-to-Sister is so important?

Kyndra: If I had to isolate one aspect of the program that is most significant, it would have to be the creation of a social network among women. It has helped decrease the levels of loneliness and isolation that some women feel as they fight to end marijuana prohibition.
Melissa: Exactly. It helps create and bring together informed, thoughtful and enthusiastic women activists. I have met some incredible women as a result of my participation in the program. We then all go on to talk about Sister-to-Sister, or the NORML Women’s Alliance to other women, and more of us join. The excitement is contagious. We know we can foster significant change.
What advice would you give to women just getting involved in the marijuana reform movement?
Kyndra: The best advice that I can give is to sign up for Sister-to-Sistah!

[Sister to Sister: Cultivating Female Activists Mentoring Program is designed to recruit and retain female activists in the marijuana reform movement by establishing big sister, little sister, or sister-to-sister peer relationships for new and seasoned activists.]

13 thoughts

  1. Ladies,
    Give MJ Prohibition your Motherly attention. I truly believe your voices will be heard over all others!

    Agreed — it is all about the money.

    When will the cannabis community decide to use the intelligence of now to monetize the future of the industry? Everyone wants to rush ahead without addressing fundamental needs of the administrative situation.
    What are people doing asking for money without a realistic plan in place. At present every medical marijuana program since 215 in Cali is a sting operation against citizens — totally Nazi.
    Where is the filing of the class action lawsuit for unlawful biological warfare against the citizens of North American and now the world.
    I have personally informed the largest collectives in the state of California – spoke directly to the THC convention in LA 2009 — in addition to directing readers to the web sites with specific information to establish and initiate the action under comments in this website.
    However — still no concrete actions are on the table that say — were you born after 1940 — Did you breast feed — are you a sexually active human — food of birth/forest/sex is reason to believe you have been exposed to the bioweapon known as Lyme disease.
    Now if all parties focus on remedy — initiate class action lawsuits — use the media circle from all the infomercials and court coverages to expose the circumstance which is completely denied by the aggressors in charge — we will be on the path to recovery.
    From my perspective — self greed of futures keeps everyone in the business from performing necessary collective actions for a intelligent resolve.
    Time to use the philanthropic monies of the world and lets get the claim action moving.

  3. More power to all the Sistas. Alcohol prohibition was reversed with the help of women. The same can happen with marijuana.

  4. The word “activist” combined with “ending the prohibition of alcohol” conjures up images of suffragettes in wide brimmed black hats, hat pins, spit curls and frumpy-looking black, ankle-length dresses (and no underwire-hal!) with stern looks on their faces as they march in a circle on a busy street corner in a demonstration pumping picket signs. LOL! And if I may be so bold, it is my personal belief that men make better activists, cooks, police officers, husbands, brothers, grandfathers, and sons, drivers’ ed teachers. Politicians, not so much.
    I for one would prefer to remain calm, cool, and collected and simply donate financially as I am led. I hope that’s okay?

  5. I have been a somker sence 1970 I do not see anything wrong with it, I believe if it was not againest the law it would do away with a lot of drugs that are out there it puts you at eaz. it is all around better than any alcohol and many of the pills out there , I also believe that if it was decriminl it is all about the money also that is the same with street drugs they will not stop them because you know who is makeing all kinds of money and I am not talking about the so called Doug lords.

  6. I got arrested…never have even had a ticket or gotten pulled over in my life! The cop at court said he got the “order” because they could smell marijuana coming from the street…I live in the town in the emerald triangle known as by the way…but anyways at court he said he could smell it coming into the front door. Now I got 2 felonies hanging over my head. HELP I have my 215 and had it when this happened.

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